What are Blinds in Texas Hold’em Poker?

what are the blinds in texas hold'em

1 minute

Last Updated: April 12, 2024

Blinds in Texas Hold’em poker are mandatory bets that the first two players left of the button must place before the beginning of a hand. Blinds ensure that there are chips in the game right from the start, encouraging players to participate rather than simply skip every hand until they receive premium hole cards.

The player directly on the left of the button position is called the small blind, while the player to the small blind’s left is called the big blind. The blinds rotate clockwise, one position with each hand. After one orbit, every player at the table will play at both the small blind and the big blind position. The small blind is generally half the amount of the big blind, while the big blind equals the table’s minimum bet amount.

For example, if you’re playing a $5/$10 Texas Hold’em cash game, it means that the small blind is $5 and the big blind is $10. The blinds are always presented in this format, with the small blind always being listed first and as the smaller amount. 

The higher the blinds are, the higher the stakes are in the game. Here are some examples of how you can use blinds to assess the stakes of a live cash Texas Hold’em table:

  • Low Stakes – $1/$2 up to $3/$6.
  • Mid Stakes – $5/$10 up to $10/$25.
  • High Stakes – Cash games above $10/$25.

While blinds in Texas Hold’em cash games are fixed, in tournaments, they can progress with the event. For instance, a tournament might start with 50/100 blinds, which will steadily increase by 50% with each subsequent round. In tournaments, this structure serves two vital purposes. It ensures that players have to play more aggressively to stay in the game, and it prevents players in later stages from having too big of a stack compared to the blinds.

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